Aviva Premiership
McCall praises want-away Ashton
ESPNscrum Staff
January 6, 2012
England's Chris Ashton crosses the line for the matchwinning try, England v Scotland, Rugby World Cup, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, October 1, 2011
Chris Ashton crosses the line for England © Getty Images

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has praised England star Chris Ashton amid reports he is on the verge of swapping Franklin's Gardens for Vicarage Road.

The Saints winger has reportedly refused to discuss terms on a new contract with Northampton with his current deal expiring at the end of the current season. And with Sarries apparently keen on tying down the 24-year-old on a deal to bring him to the Aviva Premiership champions, McCall has gone out of his way to lay praise at the door of the winger.

McCall, however, has refused to comment on whether they have offered contract to the former rugby league star but has conceded that they will look to make minimal changes to their playing squad ahead of next season.

"He's [Ashton] an outstanding rugby player as everybody knows," McCall told the Watford Observer. "He's one of the best finishers in England. He's young and is going to get better and better but we're linked with a lot of players and when there is news to tell you about any signings we will let you know.

"I think we're very fortunate. We've got the vast majority of our squad [tied up to contracts] and we want to keep the group together for a period of time. We don't intend to chop and change much. We had to a couple of years ago and we're pretty well settled. We've got a small bit of business to do but not much."

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